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AYO won’t be distracted by market talk

Company determined to tell what it believes is a good story.
Company determined to tell what it believes is a good story.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed technology investment group, Ayo Technology Solutions (AYO) is determined to communicate the work its underlying subsidiaries are doing and the ‘good story’ it has to tell – and will not be distracted by ongoing issues in the market.

Recently local media reported that the company’s chairman Advocate Wallace Mgoqi confirmed plans to take legal action against parties that have allegedly defamed AYO.

The Daily Maverick also reported that the company is defending a high court bid by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) related to a ‘private placement’ investment.

However, according to AYO, the PIC Commission of Inquiry report shows no adverse findings against the company.

Start-up fund

This week, AYO launched a R200-million fund to support African start-ups.

Snow Mokgalabone, Head of Talent for the AYO Academy and now the AYO Technology and Innovation Fund, with Vanessa Govender, Executive Director: Corporate Affairs (AYO) and Chairman of AYO Technology Solutions, Advocate Wallace Mgoqi.  Image: African News Agency.
Snow Mokgalabone, Head of Talent for the AYO Academy and now the AYO Technology and Innovation Fund, with Vanessa Govender, Executive Director: Corporate Affairs (AYO) and Chairman of AYO Technology Solutions, Advocate Wallace Mgoqi. Image: African News Agency.

According to a statement released by the company, Mgoqi and the AYO Technology and Innovation Fund’s Head of Talent, Snow Mokgalabone confirmed that the R200-million would be an annual amount and would be allocated to qualifying companies, organisations and entrepreneurs, to scale their businesses.

“R100 million of the fund is to be allocated to South African companies of which, 50% will be geared to specifically supporting black-owned start-ups. R100 million will then be apportioned to grow companies founded and operated on the African continent beyond South Africa’s borders,” AYO stated.

Mokgalabone said: “I think it is fair to say that technology and innovation are critical to the advancement of not just our society here in South Africa, but everywhere. To effect real change though, we are going to need more bright minds and yet more companies like yourselves, who can work together to fix our societal, economic and environmental issues.”

However, as noted by Mgoqi, “there are thousands of brilliant business ideas out there, but the sad reality is that few make it to the big time. The necessary funds to take these ideas from bud to blossom and then fruit, can often be in short supply. Which is why AYO has committed to launching an annual fund aimed at supporting as many bright ideas and innovations as possible. With this, AYO can help turn ideas into action.”

AYO said it will invest in organisations that are creating new technologies or using existing ones in novel ways to solve pressing business and everyday needs. There will be strict criteria and appropriate due diligence measures.

The company added that the fund is aimed at second round funding opportunities for companies that have a proof of concept and that are ready to scale.

“AYO also recognises that the ongoing success of investee companies will depend not just on an injection of monies but also professional assistance and support. AYO will therefore use its stable of companies to offer beneficiaries a variety of opportunities for self and business acceleration, through access to professionals, services and marketplaces within the Group. Investee companies will also be in a position to offer their own skills and support to companies within the greater AYO group,” it added.

AYO will accept applications via its website, from 6 March 2020.

In response to whether the company believes ongoing issues in the market will detract from its focus on this support and developments going forward, the company stated: "AYO is an investment holding group within the ICT sector - it’s been in operation for 26 years. The companies in which AYO has invested are all solid entities with excellent track records. They have good stories to tell about the actual works they are doing to advance society. The companies are therefore, all going to continue doing what they do best - innovate and implement - and let the results of what they actually do, speak for themselves”.

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